The Personal Rule of Poets

Ann Baynes Coiro

in The Oxford Handbook of Literature and the English Revolution

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199560608
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

The Personal Rule of Poets

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This article proposes that the war against the King was liberating for many poets working in the so-called Cavalier tradition. Such an understanding turns on its head the standard characterization of Cavalier poetry as dispossessed of its natural habitat, celebrating friendship in retreat, and waiting for the winter of exile to end. In reality, the political crisis of the mid-seventeenth century spurred the publication of poetry that had long circulated in manuscript and occasioned new poems that grappled publicly with crucial events and figures. During the war and Commonwealth, poetry moved out of the circuit of the court and engaged directly in a wider struggle for cultural power. Several poems are considered including Marvell's Upon Appleton House, Denham's Coopers Hill, Waller's Poems, and Richard Lovelace's Lucasta.

Keywords: poets; Cavalier poems; political crisis; cultural power

Article.  14372 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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